Something Sweet and Something Savoury~~Cheesy Biscotti and Choco Almond Rocks~~

Super Easy Chocolate Rocks!!

Women’s Day at home was celebrated by the three women and the one man in the family with something sweet and something savoury. I am in one of my moods today and really dont have the words to describe all the emotions I feel on being a Woman myself so will just say that “I Love Who I Am and What I Do”

So, without much ado,two great dishes that took less that an hour to rustle up!!

Cheesy Biscotti

Savoury Cheese Biscotti with Indian Spices:

Source-A Mix and Match of Multiple Websites

Yield: 12 large biscuits or 18 small ones

2 cups/250g all-purpose flour (unbleached or regular)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Jeera Powder, roasted and coarsely ground
1/3 cup Nutralite, cold, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaping cup/ 6-7 oz. /150-170g grated cheddar cheese(I used amul processed)
1/2 – 2/3 cup or 120-160ml milk (I didn’t need more than 1/2 a cup)
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
Corriander-1/4 cup finely chopped

For brushing on top:

2 Tbsp. nutralite
1/2 tsp. jeera powder roasted and coarsely ground
1/2 tsp. red chilli flakes

1.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt,red chilli flakes and jeera powder.
2.Add the cubed nutralite. Using a fork, cut butter into flour until it is coarse, like bread crumbs (doesn’t need to be fine).
3.Add oil, grated cheddar cheese and the milk. Stir till well combined and holds together. Do Not over mix or knead!!
4.Make sure to keep adding milk a bit at a time, just until the dough is moistened and you can no longer see any raw flour.
5.Drop small portions of the dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet or a Silpat using an ice cream scoop or large spoon. I just used an aluminium foil on the baking tray.
6.Bake for 15-17 minutes in a preheated oven at 400F/.
7.While biscuits are baking, melt 2 tbsp of nutralite in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon jeera powder and the red chilli flakes.
8.When biscottis come out of the oven, use a brush to spread this butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Do this a few times – it’s an experience to watch all the butter getting absorbed into the biscuit! Use up all of the butter. Serve warm.
This can also be had with soup or with evening tea!

The Ingredients that make Magic!!

And now the SWEET 

2 Ingredients-4 Happy People 🙂

Chocolate Almond Rocks:

Ingredients

•12 almonds and 12 Cashews
•100 g dark cooking chocolate
•Butter paper
•Attractive wrapping foils

Sweet Temptation-Choco Almond Rocks!!

Method

-Roast almonds and cashews in the microwave on 100% power for 2 minutes. Melt chocolate in the microwave for 3 minutes on 60 % power.
-Mix the almonds and cashews to the dark chocolate mixture. Let it thicken for a few minutes.
-Spread butter paper on a plate and drop a small amount of this chocolate with a spoon on the butter paper like a small rock.
-Make all chocolates in a similar way.
-I did this a little differently . I put these small rocks into a gunta pongaralu maker,the one in the picture and refrigerated it. It was super easy to remove because of the Teflon coating. Totally non messy.

New Use to Old Equipment-Sujatha Style

-For those living abroad you could use a pancake puff maker instead..

-Refrigerate for 35 minutes or deep freeze for 10 minutes. Wrap in attractive foils.

P.S: A humble request to all the visitors on this blog, please comment, review the recipes and share your experiences. It will really build my morale and make me want to post more of these easy to make dishes for everyone!! Thanks.

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Maha ShivRatri~Story,legends and My Experience

Shiva Parvati-At kailashagiri in Visakhapatnam

Brahma Muraari Suraarchita Lingam
Nirmala Bhashita Shobhita Lingam
Janmaja Dukha Vinaashaka Lingam
Tat Pranamaami Sadaa Shiva Lingam

Night usually represents evil, then why is Shivaratri celebrated during night? The night after Mahashivratri is ‘amavasya’ (no moon night). A day when the world will be completely dark. Symbolically, nothing but only ignorance and injustice will prevail. This ‘amavasya’ also represents ‘Kaliyuga.’ Lord Shiva appeared just before the beginning of Kaliyuga to rid the world of ignorance and evil. This was during the night before ‘amavasya.’
Therefore special worship is performed before ‘amavasya’ to please Lord Shiva who is the remover of darkness, evil and ignorance.

Almost all the myths and legends associated with Shivaratri happened during the night and this is another reason.
There are numerous myths regarding the origin of Shivaratri. Most of the stories of Shivratri can be traced to the Puranas.

Myth of Shivratri based on Vishnu and Brahma searching for the origin of the Linga

Lord Vishnu and Brahma wanted to know who was superior and this led to a fight. Lord Shiva intervened and said whoever can find out the origin or end of the Shivalinga is superior.
Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of a huge pillar of fire. Lord Vishnu went down searching(netherworld) and Brahma went up searching(kailash). Both traveled and traveled but never met the beginning or end of the Shiva Linga .
After the futile search, Lord Vishnu and Brahma prayed to Shiva who appeared before them in the form of Jyotirlinga and this day of the appearance of Lord Shiva is celebrated as Shivaratri.

The Story of Shivaratri based on Saagara Manthan

This is a famous legend on Shivaratri and happened during the churning of the Ksheera Sagara by the Devas and Asuras to get ‘Amrit.’ While churning the ocean, highly toxic poison came out and Lord Vishnu asked the ‘devas’ and ‘asuras’ to approach Lord Shiva.
He agreed immediately to help them and drank the poison. In order that this poison should not affect him, Lord Shiva was not allowed to sleep. So the ‘devas’ and ‘asuras’ kept praying through bhajans and Ashtotras the whole night. Pleased with their devotion Lord Shiva said ‘whoever worships me on this day will get their wishes fulfilled.’

The Poison affected his Throat and made it Blue hence the Name “Garala Kantha” or Neelakantha”.

The story of Shivratri based on hunter unknowingly dropping Bilva leaves on Lingam

There once lived a tribal hunter who was a Shiva devotee. One day he lost his way while hunting and was trapped in the forest at night. Soon wild animals started to gather around him and he climbed a Bel or Bilva tree. In order to keep himself awake, he started plucking Bilva leaves and dropped them down one by one repeating ‘Om Namah Shivaya.’ In the morning, he discovered that he had been dropping the leaves on a Shivaling.
And the word spread that he was saved by Lord Shiva. People started celebrating the day as Shivratri. The story is mentioned in Mahabharata by Bhishma while on the bed of arrows.
The hunter was born as King Chitra bhanu who could remember his previous births. And he discussed the importance of Shivaratri with a sage.
Apart from these myths, it is said that the reunion of Lord Shiva and Parvati happened on the Shivratri day. Another legend states that Lord Shiva performed the Taandava on this day.
On the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri, or Mahashivratri, Hindu devotees around the world observe Shivratri Vrat or Upvaas or fast. The fasting involves refraining from eating any food and not sleeping through out the night. Sivaratri literally means ‘the night of Lord Shiva’ and unlike other festivals associated with Hinduism there is no fun and merrymaking on the day. But the night provides an opportunity to cleanse the ignorance and realize that you are Brahman and open the door to bliss.

The day after Shivratri is Amavasya – the dark night or the no moon night. It symbolizes the evil forces – desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger – which dominate the Kaliyuga. Shiva is believed to have appeared in the form of ‘Lingodabhavamurti’ or Jyotir Linga on the Shivratri night. The Linga is an attempt to give form to the formless Brahmin. Praying to Shiva is to escape from the miseries of Kaliyuga.

The Mahashivratri fasting begins on the morning of Shivratri and ends next day morning or the Amavasya morning.

Since it is a long Upvaas or Vrat, many people consume a special meal known as ‘palhaar.’
•Devotees wake up before sunrise and take bath and wear clean clothes.
•Applying of sacred ash, or vibhuthi, is an important aspect on the day. People also wear a Rudraksha Mala.
•The idols of Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati are cleaned and a lamp is lit.
•Most people then visit a nearby Shiva temple. In most places, Shivratri is largely observed in temples.
•Some people observing fast consume a mid-day meal consisting of non-cereal food such as boiled potatoes which are made into a curry without onion, garlic or haldi, Vrat Alu Ka Meetha,Sabudane ki Khichdi etc. Another food eaten on the day is pakori or Kutt Singahri ki puri.
•Most devotees go for a fruit diet and drink lots of water.
•No meal is eaten after sunset.
•Next meal is taken on the morning of Amavasya after doing puja and giving alms to the needy.
•The entire night is spent in a nearby Shiva temple or by chanting Mantras or listening to stories related to Shiva.
•In some places in the south people have a meal only after a Samudra Snaan( a bath in the sea).
•Some of the important mantras that are chanted on the day include:
•Shiva Panchakshari Mantra – Om Namah Shivaya or chanting the sacred names of Lord Shiva.
•People who have a Shivling at home can bathe the Shivling with water intermittently throughout the night.
•All the rituals on the night of Shivratri are meant to cleanse the ignorance and realize the Brahmin manifested in you.

The fasting, rituals and chanting are meant to kill desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger. This will make you a better person and prepare you to face the challenges that life puts you through every day.

I have compiled this information from numerous Hindu Sites and hope it is helpful in understanding Hindu Rituals and passing on this information to the next generation that would otherwise be ignorant of the customs of Shiv ratri.

My experiences of Shiv Ratri have been very varied. I can broadly classify them as before Marriage and After Marriage!!!

My family(pa,ma,brother and I) has always observed Shiv ratri with sobriety and bhakti.

My Husband’s Family has always been observing this day with some signature fasting that I find many North Indian families observing..with half a day of fasting and half a day of GREAT TASTING Recipes.

They are Vrat Alu Ka Meetha,Alu Raita,Alu curry and Sabudane ki Khichdi.

I have found that both forms of Shiv ratri are equally enjoyable and the bhakti is in the mind of the Bhakth. You can think of God While fasting and Praying And you can also Thank God after a Hearty Meal 

Disclaimer-These are strictly my opinions. No intention to hurt anyone!

Sabudana Khichdi-Shiv Ratri Vrat Food

Anyways…Will share one recipe today after this LOOOOONG Post 🙂

Saboodana Khichdi
Ingredients:
2cup: Sago granules
1/2 cup: Groundnut roasted
6: Green chillies chopped coarsely
4 TBSP : Oil
1 tsp-Chilli powder
Mint finely chopped
Coriander finely chopped
Saindha namak-Salt to taste

Method:
1.Wash and drain sago/saboodana. Keep aside for one hour.
2.Grind roasted ground nuts, chillies with some salt. Do not add water and keep the powder aside.
3.Heat oil in a pan.
4.Mix groundnut ,chilly powder and chillies with drained out sago.
5.Add this mixture to the heated pan.
6.Cook it at low fire for half an hour. Keep stirring.
7.Add grated potatoes, Mint leaves.
8.Add coriander leaves and serve hot with curd.

Vrat Alu ka Meetha-Shiv Ratri special

Also showing you the other Visuals that I made this Shiv Ratri!!

Om Namah Shivaya!

A POTful Of Coffee Anyone?? ~Coffee Flavoured Brownies!!~

Easy to Bake Brownies!!

Some thoughts on COFFEE!!!

A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent.
Chocolate, men, coffee – some things are better rich.
Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised.
Caffeine isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin !!
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat.
No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.
Coffee has two virtues: it’s wet and warm.
Espresso is to Italy, what champagne is to France.
I put instant coffee in a microwave and almost went back in time.
Coffee is not my cup of tea.
Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.
My blood type is coffee.
All the coffee in Columbia won’t make me a morning person
Coffee in England is just toasted milk.
There has never been a better office communication system than the coffee break.
I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without caffeine.
Mothers are those wonderful people who can get up in the morning before the smell of coffee.
Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical.
Retirement is one great big giant coffee break.
On the eighth day God created coffee.
Don’t criticize my coffee. You may be old and weak one day.
Is there life before coffee? There is NO life before coffee. There is life AFTER coffee!!
Coffee in England always tastes like a chemistry experiment.
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
No questions until I’ve had my second cup of coffee!
Don’t drink coffee in the morning. It will keep you awake until noon.
I make serious coffee – so strong it wakes up the neighbors!!!!!!!!
Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.

Drizzled with Chocolate Sauce!!

Coffee and love taste best when hot.

Coffee Quotes

He was my cream, and I was his coffee and when you poured us together, it was something.

Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love.

So with this lengthy intro…here’s a great, dark,chocolatey,crumbly and simply sinful combination of coffee…and Cocoa….and sugar….and Walnuts and OH YES…Chocolate Chips!!!

It is arguably the best brownie recipe I have tried over the years…so try this out immediately… You can have them with vanilla ice cream or with a dollop of whipped cream OR smeared with chocolate sauce.

AND IT IS EGGLESS!!! 🙂

Coffee Flavored Eggless Brownies Recipe with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

This recipe is basically for vegetarians with a vegan variation available as well! Now for this you must have:
o All-purpose flour, 1 cup
o Buttermilk, 1 cup
o Icing sugar, ¾ cup
o Cocoa powder, ½ cup
o Nutralite, 5 tbsp. (molten)
o Chocolate chips, 2 tbsp. (dusted with slight flour)
o Walnuts, 1 tbsp. (roughly chopped)
o Instant coffee, 2 tsp. (mixed in a tablespoon of water)
o Baking soda, 1 tsp.

Procedure

Simply, grease a 11″x7″ baking pan and set the temperature of the oven to 350° F for preheating.
Now in a large mixing bowl run the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt through a sieve and then pour the buttermilk, molten butter and coffee solution into the bowl.
Mix well with a spatula and fold in the chocolate chips and nuts as you blend.
Now pour this batter into the pan and bake for a full 20-25 minutes.
Then remove from the oven and allow the entire dish to totally cool before you cut out separate cookies.
For vegans to make this recipe for eggless brownies, substitute the butter with some vegetable oil and trade the buttermilk for a cup of soy milk with a 1 tablespoon of lemon juice dissolved in it.

Chocolate~Walnuts~Coffee~Chocolate Chips~All the Goodies!!

P.S: remember to allow the pan to cool completely or it’ll be difficult to remove the brownies from it.

And most importantly ENJOY!!!Lick it up and don’t be ashamed to clean away your plate!!

About PINK and Blue and ALL THINGS TRUE!!

Strawberry TOOTHPASTE Cookies!!

Pink

Pink is a tear running
down a baby’s face.
Pink is the color of a sunset on
a cold winter’s day.
Pink is the love from
a Brave Knight’s heart when
he wins the heart of a
fair maiden.
Pink is soft like a kitten
in a basket.
Pink is the smell of a
rose after it rains
in the morning.
Pink is lace on a
soft pillow.
Pink is as soft as
my mom’s cheek.

THINK PINK!!

This is what my Seven Year old thinks 

I am practically colour blind when it comes to Great tasting food. I am more driven by the smells and taste than visual appeal. I cannot say the same about any other member of this Singh Family.

My Seven Year Old Thinks PINK, My 4 year old Thinks BLUE and the husband Thinks ”ANYTHING BUT PINK PUHLEASSE!!”
So, life is quite a challenge when it comes to choosing the colour of dishes to bake.

I am still quite new to baking so coming up with something blue is still beyond me. I tried using a drop of food gel in the cookie dough but the colour of blue was really “BLUE”, so I threw that little ball of dough away.

But coming up with these bright pink discs of Love was easy, and surprisingly my younger one didn’t complain one bit 
Hubby very cheekily said that this is like Strawberry toothpaste and we punished him by not allowing him another nibble!!

The Cookie was easy to make and very crisp and cookiesh.(Sorry about the Hinglish 😦 )

Anyone can make it and for those who don’t like PINK OR STRAWBERRY…please use vanilla custard powder instead.

Strawberry Custard Cookies: Source of Recipe –a Combination of the umpteen sites I visited!!

Pretty Pink Discs ready to go into the Oven!!

Ingredients:

APF-3/4 Cup
Custard Powder Strawberry flavor-3/4
Corn Flour-4 Tbspn
Nutralite-1/2 Cup
Powdered Sugar-1/2 Cup
Curd-3TBSP
Strawberry Essence-1/4 tsp

Method:

-Soften the Nutralite and beat in the sugar and essence till really light and fluffy
-Add the flour and make a soft dough with a bit of milk.(Use very little milk at a time…just sprinkle)
-Refrigerate dough after wrapping it in a cling film for about 30 minutes
-Roll out the dough by placing it between two sheets of transparent covering paper that you use to cover school book…Yeah, put the unused roll I had to good use . The reason I did this is to have a less messy surface to clean post baking!
-Roll out the dough like a chapatti, about ½ inch in thickness, the thinner you roll it out the crispier the cookie, the thicker the dough, the chewier the experience. Your Choice!
-Cut it out into desired shapes with any bottle cap, steel glass etc.
-Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 12-15 minutes. The cookies should just be light brown on the corners. Don’t worry if they look or feel soft at this time, just allow them to cool down on a wire stand and see them transform into these awesomely crisp and crumbly cookies!

Try them out. And THINK PINK 

Olive and Rosemary Focaccia-The taste of Italy!!

Mini Focaccia with Black Olives and Rosemary

Focaccia (Italian pronunciation: [foˈkattʃa]) is a flat oven-baked Italian bread,which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients.

Focaccia is related to pizza, but not considered to be the same.It is quite popular in Italy and is usually seasoned with olive oil and sometimes herbs, and may be topped with onion, cheese and meat, or flavored with a number of vegetables.

However, by far the most typical focaccia is simply baked dough topped with olive oil and a simple herb like rosemary or sage, and salted with coarse salt. It is very popular as a snack in Italy and school children will often purchase a slice from a baker on the way to school, to enjoy at break time.

Homemade Focaccia is usually baked with olives and herbs.Focaccia is typically rolled out or pressed by hand into a thick layer of dough and then baked in a stone-bottom or hearth oven. Bakers often puncture the bread with a knife to relieve bubbling on the surface of the bread.

Also common is the practiCakece of dotting the bread. This creates multiple wells in the bread by using a finger or the handle of a utensil to poke the unbaked dough. As a way to preserve moisture in the bread, olive oil is then spread over the dough, by hand or with a pastry brush prior to rising and baking. In the northern part of Italy, lard will sometimes be added to the dough, giving the focaccia a softer, slightly flakier texture. Focaccia recipes are widely available, and with the popularity of bread machines, many cookbooks now provide version of dough recipes that do not require hand kneading.

Focaccia can be used as a side to many meals, as a base for pizza, or as sandwich bread.

Okay, so I took all this information from the WikiPedia…So What…I just wanted to share this information about this awesomely soft and SUPER Easy to bake Bread!!

So here is the recipe 🙂

Source-Culinary and Cake Decorating School(CCDS-Delhi)

Ingredients-

5 tsps Active Dry Yeast
2 tsps sugar
9 Cups flour(Maida)
3 1/2 Cups luke warm water
2 1/2 tsps salt
8 TBsps Olive Oil
2 tsps finely chopped fresh rosemary Or 1 tsp dried rosemary
1 Cup black Olives chopped into thin disks
2 tsps Garlic Bread Topping(any store bought brand)

Wedges-Super Soft and Easy to bake Mini Focaccia!

Method:

Take half the water and heat it till it reaches a little more than boiling point..Yes that would be 115 degrees Farenheit. check with a bread thermometer. I did not have one so I just dropped water on the inside of my wrist to test. When it felt warm but not hot — like a warmed milk from a baby bottle — I used it 🙂

The point is to activate the yeast and NOT KILL IT!! So now I mixed this water with the other half that I had not heated and took only 2 tablespoons out of it to dissolve the sugar and the yeast. Mix the mixture well and let is rest for 5 minutes to foam and froth(It is called Proofing) .

Now add 5 Tablespoons of Olive oil to the flour to which the salt and the rosemary have been added.Then with a rubbing action of the palms mix the flour and the oil to resemble crumbs. This takes about 5 minutes while the yeast was proofing. Then Add the Cut loves to the crumbs and mix in.At this point I added 1 large boiled, peeled and grated potato for a soft bread that my kids just love digging into :-). Now incorporate the yeasted mixture into the crumbs and knead into a very soft dough with the rest of the water. I kneaded it for at least 10 minutes.

Form a ball of dough, place in an oiled bowl,cover the bowl with cling film and then let it rise in a warm and draft free place for about an hour- hour and a half depending on the temperature outside.

After an hour of letting the dough rise take it out and place it in the pan in which you plan to bake it. Oil th e pan with Olive Oil. Punch the dough down well. You can hear the popping of the air bubbles inside the dough when you punch it down. You can the shape the dough into a Big family Pizza size Focaccia loaf or 8 mini focaccias. I did the latter.

Sprinkle the Garlic Bread topping generously and allow it to rise once again for another 40-45 minutes. It is important to cover the dough with a moist kitchen tissue or clean clotave h to prevent a dry crust from forming.

Then bake in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 40-45 minutes.

A Slice of Italy!!

There are multiple variations you can try in terms of herbs and cheeses. This is a very versatile dough. I have tried replacing maida with whole wheat flour and Multi Grain Flour as well and have been rewarded with spectacularly full crusted and nutty bread but the husband likes it the good old soft way!

Happy Baking!!

And I proclaim all over again that “Baking is Therapeutic” And
who knows” It may help me tone my arm muscles as well!!

The Story of Kadhi!(Memories of Padma Pinni)

Melt In the Mouth Rajasthani Gatte ki Kadhi!!

I Just Love Kadhi 🙂 I can eat kadhi Chawal 365 days a year. And, NO I am NOT talking about the special Gatte ki Kadhi,Or the Pakode ki Kadhi. I just mean the simple plain kadhi chawal.

And Predictably, Hubby and kids Hate it…So for their sake when I feel like having a Pot Ful of Kadhi..I just make the Gatte ki kadhi version so that no one complains 🙂

My first experience of great tasting Majjiga Pulusu was when I was all of eight and at my Maternal Aunt’s place. I was first doubtful and then ecstatic that something so yellowish could taste soooo yummy. My pinni(Padma Pinni) was from that day my special friend for ever!!

But, when I tasted the easier to make North Indian version…I was bowled over and a changed person 🙂 I still revert to the traditional Majjiga Pulusu for special occasions with Padma Pinni’s recipe though.

So, here goes…

For the Gatte:

Bengal Gram flour (Fresh)-1.5 cups
Oil-2 tsps
Red Chillie Powder-2 Tsps
Salt-To taste
Garam Masala Powder-1 tsp freshly ground
Turmeric-1/2 tsp
Amchur Powder-1/2 tsp
Warm Water-to mix

For the Kadhi:
Bengal Gram Flour-1 cup
Thick Sour curd-1/2 cup
Turmeric-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste
Sugar-1 tsp
Ginger- 1″ piece cut in juliennes
Jeera-1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Jeera Powder-1/4 tsp freshly roasted and ground
Curry Leaves-8-10
Ghee-for tempering
Hing powder- to taste

Method:

For thand e gatte all you need to do is mix all the ingredients into a stiff dough with very little warm water. There are two different ways to having these gatte. One is the fried in ghee version and the other is the version I prefer…yes, STEAMED!

So, place these gattas in boiling water for about 5-8 minutes till they are just done(Not soft, but al dente). They need to first be shaped into i-2″ thick cylinders and then put in the water.

Now cut the gattas into roundels and set aside.

For the Kadhi all that needs to be done is beating the curd and all the ingredients till really creamy and setting it on a slow boil for about 20-25 minutes till the really creamy kadhi looks ready. Now add the gattes and slow boil all over again. The gattes must be just melt in the mouth soft by the time you temper it with a traditional ghee wala Chonk 🙂

A hot bowl of this Kadhi on winter nights is a heaven send!!

I hope you enjoy eating this as much as I enjoyed putting this post together! Happy Kadhi Time!!

Carrot Cake with lots of twists!!

Low Fat Moist Carrot Cake with not so Low fat Frosting!

I give in to tempation often. When I analyse this looooong list of temptations, the one that lists very prominently on top is the urge to buy vegetables and hoard them 🙂

So to cut a long story short I ended up buying 2 kilos of Carrots coz they were available at 10 rupees 😦

That was a week ago…so to absolve myself of the guilt of having bought these Gajar, I decided to bake this cake.

I browsed all over the world wide web and came up with a cocktail of a recipe. So…here goes…

A deliciously moist carrot cake with Apricot Preserve and Walnuts and also the ever so cheeky shot of Red Wine which just makes all the flavours in this cake cry out and sing Hallelujah!!! And to add to that was the hint of Garam Masala that just blew us away…

Low fat Healthiness!

Ingredients

3 cups grated carrots

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½ cup white sugar

½ cup Apricot preserve

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp Red Wine

½ tsp Freshly Ground Garam Masala Powder

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting: The Easiest frosting recipe Ever 

Begin by pouring 5 tablespoons of flour into 1 cup of milk. I used whole milk because I can if I want. I am not afraid of the Weighing Scales!!

After adding the flour, whisk it together until combined, then place the saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it as it heats up and thickens, and stop when the mixture is very thick.

Cool the mixture completely.

The mixture will be very, very thick.

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the cooled flour/milk mixture.
Add 2 Tbspns Cocoa Powder now and whisk again.

Pour one cup of sugar(powdered) into a bowl with one cup of butter.(Butter should be room temperature and one can be sure when ones thumb makes a deep impression on the butter when slight pressure is applied)
Whip it around until it’s light and fluffy, scraping the bowl once or twice to make sure it’s all mixed well.

Add the cooled flour/milk/vanilla/cocoa powder mixture. Make sure it’s not the least bit warm!

I’m repetitive. Sorry.

Next, just whip it on medium-high until the mixture resembled whipped cream.

I mean, whip like crazy okay 

This was slightly tricky for me, as I was afraid of overbeating the mixture and causing everything to start breaking down and falling apart. I’d say this is about 3 minutes of pretty hard beating.

And then it was time for the rubber to meet the road.

This was spread with a dinner knife. The frosting definitely has a whipped cream consistency; it’s not thick like a decorator icing.

Then I topped it with Chocolate Shavings and a few Sweet Cherries Cut in Halves. The cherries were placed on some whipped cream I store in the fridge.

It was Heaven, and I had to try very hard not to lick it all up right there!!

Method for Baking the Cake:

-In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots, red wine, brown sugar and apricot preserve. Set aside for 60 minutes.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
-Grease a medium size bundt tin. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. If you want to go eggless omit the eggs and add 2 tbsps of Apple Cider Vinegar.
-Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and garam masala, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts.
-Pour evenly into the prepared pan.Bake for 45 to 55 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick.
– Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with the easy frosting recipe .

Yenjoi!!!